Posted 3/13/13 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
Two Watford City teenagers were killed and a third teenager was severely injured in a two-vehicle accident that occurred at 1:04 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3 west of Watford City on U.S. Highway 85.
According to the North Dakota Highway Patrol, Fenton H. Matthew, 17, of Watford City, was traveling westbound on U.S. Highway 85 near milepost 145 when the 2001 Subaru Forester he was driving hit an area of slush on the roadway, rotated counterclockwise and then entered the eastbound lane of the highway. Matthew’s vehicle was then split in half as it was struck on the passenger’s side by a eastbound 2005 Peterbilt being driven by Jerry W. Bottoms, 63, of Fairfield, Texas.
Pronounced dead at the scene of the accident was Hank D. Allen, 17, and Austin L. McCaulley, 18, both of Watford City. Matthew was transported to the McKenzie County Hospital and then by air ambulance to Trinity Hospital in Minot. Neither Allen nor McCaulley were wearing safety restraints and it is unknown if Matthew was wearing a seat belt.
Bottoms, who was wearing a seat belt, was not injured in the accident.
The front end of Matthew’s vehicle came to rest in the westbound lane of the highway while the rear end of the vehicle came to rest to the east of the front end in the westbound lane. Bottom’s semi came to rest in the south ditch of the highway facing northwest.
U.S. Highway 85 was closed to traffic for over three hours during the investigation and subsequent cleanup of the accident.
Charges against Matthew are pending investigation.
Responding to the accident was the North Dakota Highway Patrol, the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Dept. and the McKenzie County Ambulance Service.